Mexican Hot Cocoa (Naturally sweetened, dairy-free options)

Katie brings to us a delicious recipe for homemade hot cocoa spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. It is easily made dairy-free (and vegan!). Perfect for enjoying this Christmas season and Winter.-Kimi

Chilly winter days are here!  It’s time to light fires in wood burning stoves, curl up in your cozy cloths and lose yourself in a good book while slipping a hot drink.

This isn’t your everyday hot chocolate. The warming flavor of cinnamon mingling with the sweetness of sucanat and vanilla bean will carry you off to Mexico with the first sip. While you can use other sweeteners in this recipe you will miss some of the authentic flavor that comes from the sucanat, which is very similar to piloncillo, an unrefined cane sugar that comes in a hard cone shape common in Mexico.

The amount of sweetener used really depends on preference. I find ¼ of a cup of sucanat almost too sweet while others might not find it sweet enough. My favorite three milks for this recipe are raw milk, coconut milk and almond milk. I normally use homemade coconut milk. If you use canned full fat coconut milk it will need thinned  to 1:1 ratio of coconut milk and water.

Creamy Mexican Hot Cocoa, Dairy Free and Vegan Options
Kimi Notes: I bet that this would also be delicious with coconut sugar ! I agree with Katie’s above notes on the amount of sweetener to use, by the way. How much to use is a personal preference, and the type of milk you use also makes a difference in the sweetness of the recipe. One tip – I’ve found it helpful to whisk the cocoa powder in a small amount of milk before adding it to the whole pot. It helps prevent lumps. Enjoy!
Makes 2-4 Servings

4 cups milk (raw milk, coconut milk or almond milk)
¼  cup sucanat (or other whole cane sugar product)
½ vanilla bean, split
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup cocoa powder

Pour milk of choice into a medium sized saucepot. Add the vanilla, cinnamon sticks and sucanat. Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks. Slowly add the cocoa powder to the milk, whisking constantly.

Return to a simmer and then turn off the heat.

Katie Stanley is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Mexican Wildflower about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, the Deaf, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.

The following two tabs change content below.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

Latest posts by KimiHarris (see all)


  1. Naomi says

    I’ve found that whole milk is sweet enough not to need any added sugar at all. I do add a dash of ground chipotle pepper to my hot cocoa to give it a little extra spice. Yum!

  2. Rebekah says

    We just enjoyed some Mexican hot cocoa with almond flour pancakes for our Christmas breakfast. Delicious! My 2 1/2 year old and husband loved the cocoa! Also, I think that’s so neat that you are working at a deaf school in Baja California, Katie. I took a mission trip to Baja in high school and fell in love with the town of Rosarito 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *